Roundup: Vax open to kids age 5+, poor cell service raises health-care worker safety concerns, South Shore pitcher wins top honour, toy drive helps hundreds of families

DeRico Symonds

Plus: Where is Halifax heading in 2022? Looking at the issues that will shape our city

Vaccination bookings are now open to children age five and up.

“The key to safeguarding children against the virus is to get vaccinated and follow public health measures,” Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, says in a press release. “While this virus tends to lead to mild illness in children most of the time, don’t take a chance with their health or the health of others around them. This virus spreads like wildfire in children and getting this age group vaccinated will really help to prevent spread.”

Health officials say Nova Scotia will have enough pediatric COVID-19 vaccine and appointments to provide every child aged five to 11 their first dose by the end of 2021.

On Friday, the province released the latest batch of statistics underscoring how vaccination reduces death and serious illness from the disease.

From Nov. 19 to 25, Nova Scotia had 87 known cases of COVID:

  • 33 (37.9 per cent) were fully vaccinated,
  • One (1.1 per cent) was partially vaccinated,
  • 53 (60.9 per cent) were unvaccinated.

There were 6,462 known cases from March 15 to Nov. 25:

  • 655 (10.1 per cent) were fully vaccinated,
  • 395 (6.1 per cent) were partially vaccinated,
  • 5,412 (83.8 per cent) were unvaccinated.

There were 334 people hospitalized:

  • 20 (6.0 per cent) were fully vaccinated,
  • 32 (9.6 per cent) were partially vaccinated,
  • 282 (84.4 per cent) were unvaccinated.

COVID killed 42 people:

  • 10 (23.8 per cent) were fully vaccinated,
  • Three (7.1 per cent) were partially vaccinated,
  • 29 (69.1 per cent) were unvaccinated.
Photo: Ben Murray/Advocate Media

Where is Halifax heading in 2022?
Policing, income, housing, racism: 2021 taught us a lot about the inequities that continue to plague our city.

And while prognostication is generally foolhardy, it’s safe to predict we’ll be continuing to face those issues in 2022. And policing tops the list for good reason — too many Nova Scotians justifiably doubt that the police are here to serve and protect them.

DeRico Symonds, co-founder of the grassroots activism group GameChangers902, talks about the problem in the new issue of Unravel Halifax, sharing his fears when he sees the police lights flash in his rear-view mirror.

“I’m not stopping until I get to a public place, like a gas station where it’s lit up, because I do not trust law enforcement,” says the advocate for racialized and marginalized communities. “I certainly know it’s not all law enforcement, but I have a fear and distrust for a very good reason.”

Janet Whitman has the story.

Cell service safety concerns
Once again, Guysborough municipal officials are raising concerns about poor spotty and unreliable cell service in their area.

At a recent meeting, Deputy Warden Janet Peitzsche gave a report from the emergency management office committee, noting one of the committee’s directors has a major concern in regard to safety.

“She also works through home care, and she brought up the (concern of) ladies that are out in the night, especially on those side roads and dark roads, are having a really hard time with cell service,” Peitzsche said. “We have these women on dark highways and rural roads, and (if one) got in trouble tying to help anybody that needs home care, and here they get stranded with no cell service.”

Drake Lowthers has more for The Reporter.

Toy drive helps hundreds of families
Organizer Ellen Fanning is excited to see the United Way’s annual toy drive return to the Pictou area.

“The toy drive is one of the best things happening throughout the year for us,” said Fanning. “It brings so much joy and puts a little less stress on people. Let’s be honest, people will choose between heating their homes and putting food on the table over buying Christmas gifts.”

Raissa Tetanish reports The Pictou Advocate.

Ethan Corkum

South Shore pitcher wins provincial award
Ethan Corkum of the Bridgewater Bulldogs U-18 triple-A squad won top pitcher honours during the recent provincials in Halifax.

“It was kind of shock, honestly,” says the 17-year-old. “At that beginning of the year, if you would have told me I would get that award at provincials, I would have called you a little weird.”

He gave up just three earned runs in two appearances, one each against Halifax and Clarks Harbour, totaling about 12 innings of work.

Keith Corcoran interviews him for LighthouseNow.

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